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After nearly two years, Uganda will reopen its schools in January

Many teachers have taken on other jobs to help support their families while their careers have been put on hold.
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Yoweri Museveni

Ugandan schools, which have been closed since March of last year due to the pandemic, will reopen in January, despite the country's current low vaccination uptake, the country's president said on Thursday.

"Be informed that the schools will be opened in January and the rest of the economy will be opened in the same month," Yoweri Museveni said.

"Vaccination is key to the reopening of the economy," he said, despite the fact that fewer than three million vaccines have been administered to a population of approximately 45 million people.

Ugandans have been hesitant to get vaccinated despite Museveni's claim that "right now 4.7 million vaccines" are available, with an additional 23 million doses expected by the end of the year.

"By the end of December 2021, 12 million people should have been vaccinated," said the president, referring to vulnerable people as well as health and education workers.

Museveni urged Ugandans to "walk to the health centres or be carried there... go by motorcycle taxi, go by bicycle or go by vehicle and be immunised."

"Even if you don’t come out for vaccination, we will open the schools and the economy," he promised.

"If anything goes wrong, the moral responsibility is yours."

Museveni lifted the majority of Covid-related restrictions in the country last month, despite the fact that the virus has killed over 3,000 people, but he left schools closed.

Many teachers have taken on other jobs to help support their families while their careers have been put on hold.

Some have told AFP that they do not intend to return to the classroom because they are concerned about making a living in an environment where many schools are heavily in debt. Several establishments have been converted into hotels or restaurants.

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